Newton leaders return to 'Lovers' Lane'

Newton leaders are going back to "Lovers' Lane," and they may break a few high school hearts when they get there.

During its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Newton City Council will revisit a request to ban parking along North Deal Avenue during school hours, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. In July, Newton Police Department asked leaders to prohibit parking along the street which is adjacent to Newton-Conover High School. The request came after complaints from NCHS officials, who said high school students were parking there and possibly engaging in sexual activity an deal drugs.

Situated alongside the school's softball field and a stormwater retention pond, the 1500 block of North Deal Avenue is out of school officials' sight, said NCHS Principal Kevin Campbell. The school received complaints from residents along the street, he said during Newton City Council's July meeting.

However, some residents argued that in addition to students, they use the street as a parking area for themselves and their visitors. A parking ban would negatively impact those residents, said North Deal Avenue resident Robert Reitzel.

City Council tabled the issue in July and the proposed parking ban has returned to the meeting agenda for tonight.

Other items on the Newton City Council meeting agenda include:

• Consideration of code enforcement measures for nuisance violations for three properties: 2104 Dove Street; 2702 North Main Avenue; and 26 South Gaither Avenue.

• Consideration of a proposal to provide matching funds for almost $81,000 in grant funding from N.C. Main Street Solutions. The grant has been awarded and would go toward renovations of a downtown Newton building where there a plans for a new bakery.

• Consideration of a special use permit that would allow Jenkins Funeral Home to construct a pavilion and restroom facility on its Startown Road property.

• Consideration of a contract between Catawba County and the city of Newton for fire protection.

The regular monthly meeting of Newton City Council begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Newton City Hall.